Pagar Power Figure

Batak tribe Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century
published: Indonesian Primitive Art, Irwin Hersey, pg. 27

Shamans or datus used these objects to control the spirit world and keep evil spirits away from

the village. The wooden plugs found on the face and stomach contain pukpuk, which is a magical substance that activates the magical qualities of the figure. A peg with a hole through it beneath the feet was used to attach the figure to a platform so that the figure would stand upright when used in ceremonies. The wood is of medium density and has a deep and shiny, almost black patina. The figure is carved in a cubistic style with strong legs and feet. The arms are carved in relief and have an eloquent curve to them that makes a striking visual counterpoint with the carved necklace of the figure.

Height :13 inches